Can’t Buy Me Love …………. And Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Either Especially In The World of Baseball ……….

Can’t Buy Me Love ……… And Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Either …. Especially In The World of Baseball

Well with the divisional rounds of the AL and NL divisional series now behind us the championship series are now set . In the AL the Texas Rangers will host the Detroit Tigers for the first two games in the best of seven games series format to decide the AL pennant and the representative for the World Series from that league. In the NL we have the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the St Louis Cardinals with the privilege of the pennant winner from that league taking on winners of the Rangers vs Tigers series.

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Now while we were all enthralled by the final day finales within the league with both the St Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays garnering the wildcard berths for the postseason . It has to be said that in spite of the drama and excitement created by the improbable feats by both the Cardinals and Rays what has now happened in divisional series raises the bar to a new level. The Philadelphia Phillies , New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox has me wondering whether or not those who aspire to suggest that there is parity within the league , do they really believe that ?

The New York Yankees long considered the big money market team whose aspirations to spend big and win big has been the credo that they have simply lived by. The team with a $203 million payroll simply eschew largess and the type of opulence we are liable to see amongst the high rolling executives on Wall Street. In the ALDS the Yankees were up against a determined Detroit Tigers’ team with their ace in the hole with the starting pitcher Justin Verlander . In a series deciding game five hosted by the AL East champions at Yankees Stadium . The game in front of a soldout crowd was raucous and electric in terms of the excitement created .

In spite of the the team’s offense and the tremendous seasons had by Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira during the postseason the bats of the Yankees were bewilderingly silent . Alex Rodriguez the alleged big money player brought in by the organization presumably to be the face of the team once Derek Jeter steps down has been a clear sign of why Rodriguez is not the force that many presumably believe him to be. He may well rank up there amongst the all-time leaders in terms home run hitters . During the series against the Detroit Tigers the player’s demeanor and offense like the rest of the members of this Yankees’ roster was nowhere to be seen. I will continue to maintain that Alex Rodriguez does not know what it is to play on a team much less be a teammate who can lead by example !. He has yet to prove that and never will and that is even with the fact that he has a World Series ring to his credit.

New York Yankees’ team president Randy Levine and GM Brian Cashman are already circling the wagons and looking to create the facade that their failings were due to the fact that the Tigers were simply the better team . And in that respect they are right but who could have envisaged that during the postseason this New York Yankees’ team would put up such an anemic effort ? And beyond the ineptitude shown by the Yankees’ offense one has to admit that coming into this postseason you also knew this pitching roster of the Yankees simply would not be up to the task . The only saving grace for the New York Yankees may well be the fact that beyond CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova this pitching rotation may well need to be gutted and revamped altogether .

Money may well be of no object to the New York Yankees , given the fact that they have unending resource by way of the YES Network and the thought that they can use the team owned broadcast outlet to simply use as a tax write for any losses accumulated by the baseball operations. But herein lies the caveat to this whole charade , it is that the New York Yankees are not necessarily prudent spenders when it comes acquiring talent by way of the free agency market or via trades . Consider players such as Carl Pavano , Randy Johnson and Hideki Irabu who have simply come and gone producing little if anything that one might consider tangible for the organization. But somehow & Brian Cashman and the entire front office seem to feel that this credo is still the template for success. That scenario usually works when the talent performs at an optimum level but would anyone seriously consider the season produced by AJ Burnett is worth $16,500,000 ?

The Philadelphia Phillies prior to the start of the season were seen as the prohibitive favorites to win the NL pennant and World Series . A pitching roster that has a quintet of All Stars and wealth of experience with a Cy Young award winner amongst those five. Roy Halladay , Cliff Lee , Cole Hamels , Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt . As imposing as that pitching roster may well appear to be who could have envisaged that it would be the offense of the Phillies that would lay a goose egg in their divisional series against the St Louis Cardinals ? Another big money market team whose expenditure on team salaries for 2011 exceeded $167 million .

In what would turn out to be a game five series decider played at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia the Phillies hosted the NL Central wildcard winners. Taking the mound for the Cardinals was their ace Chris Carpenter . And the ace did not fail to deliver , pitching a three hit shutout for a complete game and perhaps one of the greatest pitching performances in St Louis Cardinals’ postseason history .

Philadelphia Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr along with manager Charlie Manuel , the entire coaching staff and the front office will have to reassess the roster to view what changes will have to made . if the Phillies are to have any semblance of success in the upcoming season. For a team that was said to be experienced with such seasoned veterans as Chase Utley , Raul Ibanez , Shane Victorino to add alongside the highly productive Ryan Howard and you now have to ask where was the leadership on this team in their time of need ? This was a team built for the long haul with a view to making a run for the World Series and it was clear that no expense would be spared .

For a team with a payroll of $167 million it is hard to understand how the Philadelphia Phillies could have failed so miserably . Built to win but barely lasting the course because of sheer ineptitude and a complete lack of brevitas shown by these high priced players.

In the space of ten days from the end of the regular season schedule to the divisional series we have seen a fallout of seismic proportions that I feel may well force the general managers around the baseball landscape to believe that spending ostentatiously simply brings about success . And even though the effects of ” Sabermetrics” during the nineties created the euphoria and was used effectively by Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics under the tutelage of Paul DePodesta . That was then , this now and in the present the reality is that the big money teams still hold sway . However , we can either choose to believe that within the game of baseball there is now parity within the sport or the fact that it is actually about the survival of the fittest. At the end of the day I believe it simply comes down to the will to win and not much more beyond that !

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In light of the events of the waning days of the regular season and the divisional rounds of the playoffs what to your mind has been the main premise behind the downfall of these big money market teams ? Of the four remaining teams within the LCS which do you feel has the best chance of winning the World Series ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and anything else you feel pertinent with regard to the subject matter.

Alan aka tophatal …………

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(1) Texas Rangers’ Neftali Feliz reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers’ Ryan Raburn for the final out of Game 1 at baseball’s American League championship series Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Texas won, 3-2 . Texas catcher Mike Napoli and home plate umpire Tim Welke are at rear. AP Photo/Eric Gay …

(2) The Texas Rangers celebrate their 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game One of the American League Championship Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 8, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ….

(3) New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, left, and Derek Jeter leave the field after the top of the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of baseball’s American League division series Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(4) The Detroit Tigers run out from the dugout onto the field to celebrate with their teammates after they won 3-2 against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …….

(5) Rafael Soriano of the New York Yankees is presented his jersey and cap from (L-R) manager Joe Girardi, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and COO Lonn Trost during a press conference on January 19, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees signed Soriano to a three year contract. Getty Images / Jim McIsaac ……

(6) Manager Charlie Manuel looks on as general manager Ruben Amaro Jr of the Philadelphia Phillies holds the ALCS trophy as they celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 to advance to the World Series in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

(7) St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Daniel Descalso, left, starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, second baseman Nick Punto, catcher Yadier Molina, and first baseman Albert Pujols, react after their 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in baseball’s Game 5 of the National League division series Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(8) Ryan Howard (6) of the Philadelphia Phillies stumbles as he runs out of the box on his ground out for the final out of the game as they lost 1-0 against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images …..

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Movers And Shakers ……………….. It’s All In The Games People Play !

Movers & Shakers …………. It’s All In The Games People Play …. !

As the baseball postseason beckons , the month of September is now here and there’s still a great deal to play for as divisional leaders seek to widen the distance between themselves and their closest rivals . Also at stake are the wildcard berths within both the AL and NL . But what might well more interesting could very well be the offseason managerial moves as well as those of the front office executives within the game .

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After four years of absolute futility it would appear that general manager Andy MacPhail will leave the Baltimore Orioles . MacPhail , whose father Lee MacPhail , a member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame and who like his son held the position from 1958-1963. For team owner Peter Angelos these years of mediocrity and the lack of postseason play has made this organization a major laughing stock and the butt numerous jokes throughout the game. I simply laugh when I hear purists state that a team is building towards the future but one would beg the question didn’t Noah build an ark because he knew of the impending disaster of the floods ? Well , the floods have continued for the Baltimore Orioles relentlessly and they’re unlikely to abate anytime soon !

To view the on field play of the Orioles , with the thought that this team has a chance of actually being competitive is akin to watching paint dry . Manager Buck Showalter and his coaching assistants while gradually getting the best out of these players , it appears that this roster is still a long way off from where they really need to be. Granted , the Orioles do play in perhaps the toughest division (AL East) in all of baseball but that simply cannot excuse their poor play. Throughout the month of August , from the sublime to the ridiculous it has simply been a journey into inexplicable as the team’s fall from grace has magnified .

The Orioles host their divisional rivals the Toronto Blue Jays for a two game series at Camden Yards , Baltimore , Maryland. Camden Yards has played host the many of Cal Ripken’s most heralded moments over the course of illustrious career. But one now seriously doubts that the ball-club’s most beloved player having retired can continue sit idly by and witness the monstrosity that has taken place . Inasmuch , as Peter Angelos would love to see this ball-club have a modicum of success , he as the team’s owner has done little to suggest that they are actively striving for that mantel . If anything , the owner and the front office have simply benefited from the league hierarchy’s largesse by readily accepting the tax revenue money shared amongst small market teams and doing little to bolster the team’s roster by way of acquiring players that could contribute to the organization. I’m sorry but even with their drafting of players , routinely the Baltimore Orioles have come up short with their choices .

Courtesy of USA Today

Orioles’ MacPhail could start GM exodus with departure

By Bob Nightengale of USA Today

BALTIMORE – Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, has reached a decision on his future with the Baltimore Orioles but plans to wait until season’s end before announcing his intentions.

“Let’s just get to the end of the year and see what unfolds,” MacPhail told USA TODAY. “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

MacPhail, according to two high-ranking Orioles officials, plans to leave the organization after his contract expires Oct. 31. He will not pursue an extension. The officials are not authorized to discuss the decision publicly because it is not official.

MORE: Jim Hendry’s time ran out with Cubs

MacPhail, whose father, Hall of Fame executive Lee, was Orioles general manager from 1958 to 1965, has been with the Orioles since 2007 but could not turn them around. The Orioles are three losses from their 14th consecutive losing season.

“I know there’s a lot of speculation, but that comes with the territory,” MacPhail said.

Several GM candidates have been brought up internally, an Orioles official said, led by New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, whose contract expires after the season.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, expected to have an influential voice in the decision, said he’s not interested in the job.

“You hear all kinds of things,” Showalter says. “I just hope for the best for Andy. This is not one person’s fault. You can’t be this bad, for this long, without multiple reasons.”

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It is hard to suggest where the Orioles go from here even with the contributions of Vladimir Guerrero , Nick Markakis and the pitching staff seem to be bereft of real competitiveness when adjudged against the teams within the AL . It doesn’t get better overall when one takes into account all of ball-clubs in MLB .

It would be easy to suggest that the Baltimore Orioles through their prospects and minor league farm system that things could necessarily be turned around with the right sort of precipitous moves . But we have seen that this ball club simply has stumbled through many of their own self created obstacles .

The departure of Andy MacPhail will probably now set into motion a number of moves within the game of baseball. Billy Beane , Andrew Friedman , Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein are amongst a number of general mangers whose contracts expire at the end of the season . In the case of Epstein , Cashman and Friedman can leave without any compensation being sought . And with the Chicago Cubs said to be also seeking a replacement for Jim Hendry after his firing by team owner Tom Ricketts . It has to be said that this offseason the real interest won’t necessarily be about the big money free agents who will land on the open market but more so I believe, where many of these front office executives may well end up !

Theo Epstein, the primary architect of the Boston Red Sox’s most recent triumphs in the World Series . It would appear however that Epstein’s days with the ball-club could very well be numbered as there now seems to be an impasse between he and club president Larry Lucchino . However , it would be simply idiotic for principal managing partner & team owner John Henry to allow the wunderkind to leave . To lose such a prize asset as Theo Epstein would be the worse thing that this ball-club could actually do beyond choosing to implode Fenway Park . I firmly expect that the organization will offer their general manager a long term contract , which would be clearly in their best interests.

Lew Wolff , — principal managing partner of the Oakland Athletics has publicly stated that he would not stand in the way of Billy Beane leaving the club at the end of his tenure . A somewhat magnanimous gesture given the fact that were it not for Beane , this organization might well be far worse off than it already is. Lew Wolff has hamstrung this ball-club with his Scrooge like behavior as it relates to bolstering the fortunes of this organization by spending to acquire on players. Instead the fans are being asked to be content in seeing a team simply fall from grace with little to show by way of being competitive. It seems a travesty that this fraud has been allowed to be perpetrated upon the loyal A’s fans ! But it appears that neither Lew Wolff or any of the senior executives are in fact overly concerned with their plight. If that were the case then you would actually see Wolff and those very same executives acting aggressively in making a real attempt to turn things around . Fans have somehow have begun to accept the fact that it could well be Lew Wolff’s intent to simply sit back and gladly take the handouts given to the organization by MLB . Recent success by way of a playoff berth is fast becoming a faded memory and the seasonal showings within the division (AL West) haven’t at all been that impressive .

Salary constraints asides , there is some optimism amongst the A’s fans but in large part I do believe that comes out of their sheer devotion towards this organization and its storied history of the illustrious players associated with the team and that of their Hall of Famers .

For the teams who will seek to acquire a new general manager this offseason it is bound to be very intriguing to see which candidates are amongst those being interviewed for those vacant positions . I know that there’s bound to be great deal of money that will be offered to those players thought to be amongst the most prized free agents once the season has ended but as we know everything as such starts with the decision made by the team owner and that of a general manager who seeks assemble a ball-club that they believe will be competitive . Clearly that is all that is being sought by executives within the game but perhaps , some more than most .

Peter Angelos may well seek the insight of Buck Showalter as to who the next general manager will be for the Baltimore Orioles . As he should , given that manager’s acumen for molding a ball-club into a competitive being , as one simply has to take note of Showalter’s achievements in grooming the players that would essentially go on to win four World Series in the latter part of the nineties and early 2000’s . Joe Torre may well get the credit for taking those teams to those series and winning them but were it not for Buck Showalter , one doubts that the ball-club would have achieved those successes in that short a span . Derek Jeter , Mariano Rivera , Jorge Posada and Andy Pettite are part of the quartet that went on to reach those illustrious heights , all groomed under the tutelage , first and foremost by the Orioles’ current manager .

Showalter , if anything will be looking for someone whom he can work alongside and at same be able to communicate with , without there being any real conflict or hidden agendas . And if Peter Angelos has any common sense he ought to heed well the advice given to him by his manager once he embarks upon a search for the successor to Andy MacPhail.

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece and where do you any of these front office executives moving to , should that scenario actually arise ? By all means do leave comment as to your thoughts on the subject matter .

Alan aka tophatal …… https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Manager Buck Showalter (26) of the Baltimore Orioles walks to the dugout after a pitching change in the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Blue Jays would go on to defeat the Orioles 13-0 .Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

(2) Edwin Encarnacion (10) of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Mike McCoy (18) after scoring in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Toronto won the game 13-0 . Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(3) Mark Reynolds (12) of the Baltimore Orioles tosses his bat after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

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(4) GM Andy MacPhail (left) is seen here seated Buck Showalter after he manager was formally introduced to the convened press as the team’s new manager . MacPhail has since announced that he will be stepping down from the role within Baltimore Orioles’ front office . Team owner Peter Angelos has yet to make a formal statement as to what aspect the search will take for a successor to the general manager . AP Photo Brett Gibbons ….

(5) Peter Angelos (L), owner of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball team, watches testimony from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (R) at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on the Mitchell Report into the use of steroids in baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 15, 2008. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Major League Baseball’s players and owners must come together “in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort” to remove steroids from the national pastime. REUTERS/Jason Reed/ United States ……..

(6) CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 31: Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (13) of the Oakland Athletics wipes his face after the tenth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 31, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images ….

(7) Oakland Athletic’s co-owner Lew Wolff makes a public presentation to the Fremont City Council regarding the ballpark and village proposal in Fremont, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007. Wolff invoked visions of Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field as he outlined an ambitious development plan for a new baseball ballpark Tuesday. AP Photo/San Jose Mercury News, LiPo Ching ….

(8) Oakland Athletics’ Jason Giambi , right, leans on the shoulder of general manager Billy Beane as he is introduced during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009. Giambi and the Athletics finalized a one-year contract with an option on Wednesday, bringing the free-agent designated hitter and first baseman back to the place he began his big league career. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu ……

(9) Larry Lucchino (center) and Theo Epstein, (right) seen here with principal partner and owner John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Argyle …………
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Enabled And An Embarrassment ……………….

Enabled And An Embarrassment ……………….

I’m sorry but I’ve always felt that the MLB hierarchy along with the team owners and MLBPA have been the main culprits and protagonists behind the facade of the whole steroid debacle that still blights the game . The argument now still harkens to the fact that certain players due for future eligibility for the Hall of Fame will unquestionably debated over by the BBWAA . One such player will undoubtedly be New York Yankees’ slugger and third baseman Alex Rodriguez .

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The player currently on the team’s DL looking to recuperate before returning to the active roster and contributing down the stretch run of the Yankees’ season . Alex Rodriguez has always courted controversy both on and off the field of play. And it should come as no surprise that he might well be one of the most despised players in the game of baseball currently playing. There may well be some sort of animus towards Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens . There’s no denying that the aforementioned duo in spite of their legal problems are as hated any player could possibly be over the last two decades.

Barry Bonds awaits sentencing having been found guilty in his Federal trial of committing perjury and obstruction of justice . Clemens for his part having seen the judge declare a mistrial in his proceedings due to the stupidity of the prosecuting attorneys with the judge declaring a mistrial should be under no illusion that the Justice Department will be allowed a second bite at the apple. The player’s lead defense attorney Rusty Hardin may well feel his client is being wrongly prosecuted , victimized and vilified . But Roger Clemens has done little to suggest that he has if anything been totally honest throughout this whole episode . The allegations notwithstanding , his testimony to Congress and the members of the House Oversight Committee led many to believe that all the player sought to do was to absolve himself of any perception of guilt by painting others as lacking integrity or simply attacking their credibility. And while one can’t certainly question that assertion of Brian McNamee , the player’s former personal trainer what cannot be denied was the testimony given by Clemens’ former teammate Andy Pettite which if anything was very succinct and considerably more believable than the whole assertions made by the seven time Cy Young award winner. .

Courtesy of The New York Times

Alex Rodriguez to Be Asked About Poker Games

By Michael S Schmidt ,

Once again, officials for Major League Baseball want to meet with Alex Rodriguez . This time, though, it is not about performance-enhancing drugs. In the coming weeks, baseball officials plan to question Rodriguez about reports of his participation in illegal poker games.

The officials announced Wednesday that they would ask for the meeting after Star Magazine reported that Rodriguez “played in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used, and even organized his own high-stakes game, which ended with thugs threatening players.”

Under the rules that govern baseball players, Rodriguez will have to truthfully answer baseball’s questions. If he acknowledges that he played in underground games or if officials uncover evidence that he did so, he could face a suspension.

The report Wednesday came a month after Major League Baseball opened its own investigation into Rodriguez’s ties to gambling. The investigation was prompted by a Star Magazine report in June that said Rodriguez had participated in a high-stakes illegal poker game with the actors Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” said Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”

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Alex Rodriguez is now said to be embroiled another controversy of his own making and circles around the player having been warned by Bud Selig and several members of the league’s hierarchy over his involvement in high stakes poker games as well as possibly gambling on various sports’ events . It is not known whether or not beyond Alex Rodriguez any of his Yankees’ teammates are involved in this latest incident . Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman it has been noted has spoken directly with the player repeatedly on this issue but it all appears to have gone unheeded. There’s no doubt in my mind that the New York Yankees’ hierarchy under Hank and Hal Steinbrenner cannot be too pleased with this latest controversy surrounding the player. It’s one thing that Rodriguez is the highest paid player in the game but his demeanor and lack of contrite action in lieu of his now public apology after his admission of steroid use , has left many wondering if Alex Rodriguez really gives a damn . In reality the player will do whatever it takes to paint himself in a positive light when all is said to be against him.

If one remembers during his very public apology at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa , Florida two years ago for his admitted steroid use , he looked to apportion blame elsewhere by blaming in part his cousin , Yuri Sucart . Now in light of his latest faux pas it remains to be seen what punishment if any will be levied against the player either by the league or for that matter by the New York Yankees , themselves. Certainly, if nothing is done by Bud Selig then one would expect Brian Cashman or the duo of Steinbrenner brothers to act. If Alex Rodriguez believes he can simply flout many of the game’s most sacred rules then it says a great deal about the disrespect that he has for the games’ very tenets . And his situation certainly hasn’t been helped that he has been enabled , coddled and allowed to be treated as an enfant-terrible much to the disdain of many purists of the game. Some may well delight in this fact as they believe that a superstar ought to be treated differently from his teammates ________ but baseball is not about any one individual it is in essence a team sport. While while Rodriguez’s career stats speaks for itself and the very hallowed marks that he hopes to surpass I can’t help but wonder what else the player will now do to further sully his reputation and that of the game !

Alex Rodriguez’s name has repeatedly come up in the Justice Departement’s investigation and subsequent indictment of Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galea but somehow the player has yet to be questioned by the governmental agency or anyone from the league hierarchy on the matter. Galea had been indicted on grand larceny , the sale and illegal transportation of PED’s across state lines , international borders , also of anabolic steroids and other prohibitive substances. The doctor also had amongst his clients at his Orlando medical facility a number of prominent sports’ stars amongst of which Alex Rodriguez and Tiger Woods were said to be clients of his . The golfer hasn’t confirmed that he has been approached by the Justice Department but issued a statement through his agent Mark Steinberg that he would willingly cooperate with any ongoing investigation by the department. Rodriguesz for his part has simply refused to answer any direct questions concerning his name being associated with Galea, instead seeing it as a none issue given his prior act of contrition in terms of the apology offered . But such has been the idiocy of the claims that MLB has cleaned up the image of the game and its association with the steroid era , in part when we know that Alex Rodriguez can continue to make a mockery of the image of baseball.

The talk is that steroids because there were embroiled and became a part of the game one shouldn’t at all see it as a detriment of baseball . I say bullshit, given the fact that not one person who views this all as a none issue even cares to discuss the health ramifications from the misuse and abuse of steroids and other PED’s . Renal failure , psychological issues are nothing to gloss over but somehow this is all ignored when this issue is discussed and I might say not with a great deal of clarity as to the real inherent dangers . Just as asinine might be the very fact that no one at first within the NFL was actually willing to admit to the cause and effect of chronic head trauma after repeated concussions during the games. Now all of a sudden the MLB hierarchy as well as the MLBPA are on board as to the dangers in the abuse of steroids within the game. It would appear that neither Bud Selig nor his minions or for that matter Michael Weiner as the executive director of the union would openly care to discuss this matter .

As a player I’ve always admired the abilities of Alex Rodriguez but his candor and lack of contrition as to his misdeeds has me wondering why the public and fans should continue to put up with his stupidity. Sooner or later Bud Selig and the other bumbling oafs of the league hierarchy and team owners ought to pull their heads out of each others’ ass and actually do something right ! If it has to take the government and in particular the Justice Department under tenure of AG Eric Holder to do what needs to be done by league itself . Then it simply shows how gutless the MLB hierarchy , team owners and MLBPA are said to be ! We may well admire these players from afar but who in this day simply condones cheating and feels that it’s actually appropriate within a game that purists believes to be so pure ?

Granted , this game his been tainted by issues that one would deem to be far more serious , such as racial bigotry during the segregation of baseball and the immediacy of its aftermath during the integration of the game when players such as Jackie Robinson , Larry Doby , Willie Mays and Hank Aaron carved out long lasting stellar carreers . And if one remembers when Aaron surpassed what was at the time Babe Ruth’s home run record the player was subjected to death threats , torrents of racial abuse prior to and after the event of achieving the feat. And there are historians who woud now choose to gloss over such events as something of a none issue and to be put to rest.

For a player of Alex Rodriguez’s alleged stature he had done little to suggest that he should be viewed as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter once his career comes to an end with the New York Yankees . Having become the team’s all-time hits’ leader Jeter’s career is now winding down. A multi All Star , Golden Glove winner and as we all know 5 World Series triumphs over the course of his career and what has been an exemplary example of how it ought to be done. There are players within the game of baseball they tend to exemplify something good about the sport . Derek Jeter , Albert Pujols , Ken Griffey Jr , Paul Molitor and Ozzie Smith who to my mind played the game of baseball with such effervescent zeal and infectiuos appeal. Watching those individuals play simply brings to my mind why it is about the sport can be so thrilling . Unfortunately when I now see Alex Rodriguez that becomes a none event as I simply despise everything that he’s said to stand for !

As I alluded to earlier the player (Rodriguez) has been coddled , emboldened and led to believe that he’s above the game , beyond reproach and that’s further indemnified by the lack of action by the game’s hierarchy ____ in particular by New York Yankees even in the aftermath of the player having been warned already by an official from the commissioner’s office about his gambling . It now begs the question if baseball simply cannot police itself appropriately then who if anyone can rein in and force the league and its players to act with some semblance of decency rather than further indulging the sport into a downward spiral of indignity .

For the New York Yankees’ immediate future and the contributions of Alex Rodriguez as the team strives towards the postseason . They currently sit one game behind the division leading Boston Red Sox within the AL East . If anything it is their lead amongst the wildcard aspirants that indicates the Yankees will ease their way in the postseason. While Rodriguez has had something of an indifferent season it has been the contributions of Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia that if anything has typified the usual things we have somehow come to expect of the New York Yankees . Love them or hate them you simply cannot ignore them because in doing so it may well be to your disadvantage. Joe Girardi may well be overlooked as one of the better managers within the game and granted he has at his disposal the best that money can buy .It’s the New York Yankees’ way and that’s not likely to change this or or anytime soon !

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What action or actions if any do you feel appropriate should be taken against Alex Rodriguez if these allegations are proven to be true ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts if any on the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal …. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal ……. rapptu@gmail.com

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(1) CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 03: of the New York Yankees of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 18-7 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(2) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees ducks away from an inside pitch as A.J. Pierzynski (12) of the Chicago White Sox gloves the ball at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …….

(3) Mark Teixiera (25) of the New York Yankees greets teammates Russell Martin(55) and Brett Gardner (11) as they score runs in the 7th inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …..

(4) Alex Rios (51) of the Chicago White Sox misplays a fly ball in center field as teammate Alexei Ramirez (10) runs out against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

(5) CLEVELAND, OH – FILE: Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees reacts after the end of the second inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 6, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. It was reported that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is to undergo knee surgery, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The player now subject of MLB inquiry resulting from his alleged involvement in several high stakes poker games . This has been the second such incident concerning the player this season and he’d been warned by an official from the league hierarchy to curtail his actions with regard to gambling . Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images …..

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It’s All In The Contract Read Between The Lines ….

It’s All In The Contract ….. Read Between The Lines

I read with a great deal of interest that New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman who is in the final year of his contract with the team and is said to be reluctant to discuss a contract extension with the organization until the end of the season. The team now in the hands of Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are are intent on carrying on their father’s legacy . But in reality the organization still remains a family business and it appears the brothers will rule with a rod of iron. To bear this out, the duo were in conflict with Cashman over the acquisition of reliever Rafael Soriano . They prevailed with the general manager having to back down over the issue and continue his duties under the premise of being a loyal subordinate .

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The bone of contention with Brian Cashman has always been would he have been able to accomplish the success attained by the organization over his tenure were it not for financial resources of the ball club . Five World Series titles and seven appearances in all over the last fifteen years ____ not much else needs to be said. And the same comparison was made about former Los Angeles Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson while he was the coach of the Chicago Bulls . Could Jackson win without a superstar and with another team ? Were it not for Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading those Bulls’ teams to their unprecedented success it is believed that Jackson would never have succeeded to the extent that he did. The former coach would also lead the Lakers to a further six NBA titles over his tenure with the organization , proved a point that it’s not merely about the team but the environment you’re actually placed in.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Yankees GM Cashman done at season’s end ?

By Mark J Miller

The last time New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman signed a contract extension, George Steinbrenner was still alive. Now sons Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are running the show and Cashman may be out.

Cashman’s three-year, $6 million contract expires at season’s end and the New York Post suggests that the Steinbrenners may want to put their own stamp on the team and bring in someone else.

Cashman has been working for the Yanks since he was 19, the paper points out. Now 44, Cashman refuses to attempt to negotiate a new deal for himself in the middle of the season, the Post reports. After all, Cashman was the one who eight years ago “introduced a policy of not doing contract extensions in the middle of a season,” the Post notes.

“If I couldn’t do it with Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and [manager] Joe Girardi, how can I do it with myself,” Cashman said, according to the Post. “I can’t be a hypocrite. It will come up at the appropriate time.”

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Now it’d be remiss to think that the success achieved by Cashman was solely down to talent alone . But it’s clear to see that the Yankees’ general manager would not have achieved the success attained without the financial resources of the organization. With the burgeoning cash cow that are the New York Yankees and with the team being in the nation’s largest ad market how could Brian Cashman actually fail ? Never mind the fact that the ball club owns its very own cable sports broadcast provider the YES Network . With those financial resources at his disposal it is easy to understand the choices that can be made by the organization as it relates to acquiring free agents and then paying them handsomely.

Over the years we have seen the acquisitions made by the Yankees and clearly with the team having obtained such high profiled free agents in recent years as Mark Teixeira , Alex Rodriguez , CC Sabathia , A J Burnett and Curtis Granderson . The common denominator in many cases has been uber-agent Scott Boras . Anyone who knows how the agent has conducted his business over the years will know that he tends get teams to vastly overpay for talent even when they tend to be average at best.

Should Brian Cashman decline the offer of a contract extension which isn’t out of the realms of possibility then it would be reasonable to think that a number of teams around baseball might well be interested in hiring the general manager . But in my honest opinion, I feel that Cashman knows that his best and only opportunity is to remain within the Yankees’ organization ! The financial resources of the ball-club has been predominantly the reason behind the team’s success more than it having been to do with astute scouting and draft acquisitions by the organization in recent years . The fans of the team will continue to point to the success of the organization in their recent draft choices during which they obtained Derek Jeter , Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada . The trio remain the only remaining teammates that won multiple titles from 1996 through to 2007.

Now we could ask the question if Brian Cashman were not the general manager of the New York Yankees how would he contend with an organization not named the Yankees ? And while the team remains the 1,000lb gorilla in the room you can’t help repeating the question. Would Cashman be as successful were it not for the financial wherewithal of the organization and would he be a success as a general manager ? When one considers that in the last decade and a half, only three teams have ever won multiple World Series titles and two organizations in question happen to be two of the highest salaried teams in the game . It should come as no surprise that the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees sit atop of that pile with a cumulative salary total that is in excess of $360 million . And though I have read where patrons would suggest that there remains a competitive balance within the game because we have multiple teams over the last decade win the World Series . That may well be the case but consider the fact that in large part , repeatedly it tends to be the teams that are atop of the pay structure that are part of the postseason , champion series or the World Series itself.

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Rafael Soriano (C) of the New York Yankees poses for a photograph during his press conference with (L-R) assistant general manager Jean Afterman, manager Joe Girardi, agent Scott Boras, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, and COO Lonn Trost on January 19, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees signed Soriano to a three year contract.

Granted , last year we had the distinction of seeing the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers play the game’s biggest prize one simply cannot deny the fact that it all comes back down to the usual suspects repeatedly when it comes to the postseason. One simply cannot hide behind the fact that those teams will be there . But in what some deem to be a competitive balance when it just isn’t borne out by the very fact the fact the game from a financial standpoint is markedly imbalanced . And like some of the financial problems we have now seen disrupt the NBA and NFL we are seeing the same situation arise within baseball . Some fans are actually in denial about this as they would rather see the purity of the game rather than seeing the reality of it all . It’s pretty much safe to say that the problems of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets simply reflect what I am actually saying ! The league hierarchy’s belief that their tax sharing scheme has assisted the teams in being competitive doesn’t seem to bear out what their actual intent in giving all of the teams a possible shot at the brass ring .

In waiting to see what may well transpire between the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman I wonder how many of the other general managers around the league are envious of Yankees’ general manager’s position ? They say don’t knock it ’til you try it but I get the impression that the vast majority of executives in questions wouldn’t mind being in Brian Cashman’s position right about now !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Should Brian Cashman choose not to return to the New York Yankees is it your belief that he will be hired by another team within baseball in the same capacity ? Or do you believe that he remain with the organization and sign a long term contract ? Simply chime in with a comment on the points raised within this piece .

Alan aka tophatal ….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details

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(1) TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 16: Greg Golson (22) of the New York Yankees looks out from the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays during MLB action at The Rogers Centre July 16, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images ….

(2) Mark Teixeira (25) of the New York Yankees hits during MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays at The Rogers Centre July 16, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images ….

(3) Francisco Cervelli (17) celebrates the win with Mariano Rivera (42) of the New York Yankees during MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays at The Rogers Centre July 16, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images ….

(4) (L-R) Manager Joe Girardi, Mark Teixeira, Hal Steinbrenner and General Manager Brian Cashman pose for a photo during a press conference to announce Teixeira’s signing to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 6, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images …..

(5) Rafael Soriano (C) of the New York Yankees poses for a photograph during his press conference with (L-R) assistant general manager Jean Afterman, manager Joe Girardi, agent Scott Boras, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, and COO Lonn Trost on January 19, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees signed Soriano to a three year contract. Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaac ….
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Simply Follow The Money Honey

Simply Follow The Money Honey

Just as in the silly season with the PGA Tour where they have their non-sensical and end of season tournaments that’s merely another way for the Tour players to pad their already burgeoning bank accounts the same thing applies to MLB (baseball) as prospective restricted and free agents look to cement their bank accounts also. However whereas golf has a wealth of corporate sponsors eager to have their names associated with the sport although the game’s biggest draw _ Tiger Woods has fallen from grace somewhat ,the sport as such still resonates with the fans whenever he’s on the golf course wielding his clubs and not wielding it in the direction of some buxom nubile young female.

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Thank You For Not Participating !

Thank You For Not Participating !

First of all my thanks to the Oklahoma Sooners for once again proving me right in my thoughts that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks especially when they’re unwilling to learn from the evidence already set forth. Over the weekend Bob Stoops’ team literally chose to lay down and choke away a game. The last time I saw someone choke that badly it was during an act of oral sex during which the adult female performer gagged whilst swallowing the ejaculate of her partner during their act of intimacy. Well the Sooners swallowed alright , so much so that they’re no longer atop of the BCS rankings having lost their game to sixteenth ranked Mizzou Tigers 36-27. Thanks once again Sooners as your participation was actually welcomed gagging like the bitches that you’ve now become and always were, simply overrated for all of the right reasons.

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Well now that we know who the two final participants will be in the 2010 World Series will be I’d like to thank both Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard for their inept contributions to their respective teams throughout this postseason and in particular their LCS games. The two combined earned in excess of $52 million for the 2010 season but their overall postseason contributions would in all honesty has not been worth 1/10 of that ! How ironic was it to see both of these high profiled players essentially swatting at fastballs that led to the twenty seventh and final out that eliminated their respective teams from the remainder of the postseason ? And for New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and his rather inane statement of saying that he’s ………’profoundly disappointed with the outcome’ is simply befuddling considering the vast resources at his organization’s disposal. If all $200 million can buy isn’t even a decent pot to piss in then Cashman isn’t clearly doing his job. They say that time heals all wounds but I doubt that for the Yankees’ fans now whining and making excuses their wounds will be healed immediately after the team’s rather inept performances in the ALCS .

In the world of MMA Brock Lesnar seemingly eschews the showing of class as he’d rather be thought of as the villain. As the UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar defended his title against the number one challenger Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 . Lesnar had the physical advantage over his opponent in terms of being the heavier man by over 24 lbs but that advantage was stymied by the challenger who made short and light work of the champion by literally beating him to a pulp and becoming the first Mexican American to hold a heavyweight title in a professional combative sport. And for the 265 lb Lesnar this was a damning indictment of how limited his skills actually are, as a mixed martial artist. He may well be a prolific wrestler but clearly his boxing skills and stand up work leave a great deal to be desired. It’ll be back to the trenches for Lesnar with his tail between his legs as he seeks to gain some self semblance of esteem in order to return back to the top of his sport.

Theirs was a relationship that was thought to be one of mutual convenience and as a way of seeking out competitive and financial success for the Minnesota Vikings . But at this juncture the relationship between Brett Favre and Vikings’ coach Brad Childress has about as much in common as the relationship that there’s said to now exist between political hack Bill O’Reilly and talk show hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. That chasm has and will now grow even wider after the Vikings’ loss to their divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers. And a great deal of the blame for the loss must rest upon the shoulders of Favre himself whose errant play led to the three interceptions during the game in his team’s 27-24 loss to the Packers. The less said about the player’s off the field problems the better, as it is his professional life which the fans now tend to judge him by. And as we’ve now all witnessed this time around Favre is not the Favre of old has already began to look like an aging geriatric who’s aching all over !

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Picture gallery .

These are but of a few of the weekend story lines as they played out wherein the participation of the athletes and the teams in question were about as welcoming as dose of gonorrhea would be to a practicing street walker. Alas the best said about the last scenario the better. Which teams or athletes to your mind were a complete embarrassment to themselves in terms of their efforts put forth ? Chime on with a comment as you’d deem fit .

🙂 ______ 😦

Alan aka tophatal 🙂

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Eye candy one I hope that you’ll all like ? The amazing Amie

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Ooh Lordy , lordy !

And less is more as they say !

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Amie

Who wants to go for a ride on a jet ski with Amie ? Hands up now ?